In keeping with the interdisciplinary and creative nature of our work, another "3 Things" that recently brought us delight and/or wonder. Enjoy!
Medical humanities as an academic discipline originated about half a century ago, along with scientific and technologic progress in medicine that altered our understanding of what it means to be human. We love this essay on “Healing Arts” by Dr. Audrey Shafer, the Founder and Director of Medicine and the Muse at Stanford. And this killer quote from the essay: “The arts, humanities and social sciences teach us both to look outside of ourselves and to look within: to explore, examine and record what it means to be human. What do health, illness, suffering and healing mean? What is caring? What is the experience of exhaustion, loss and grief? Such inquiries enable us to think critically about what we do, what we say, how we affect others, how our relationships are tied to our choices and perspectives, and, ultimately, how we live.” This lovely essay shares one physician’s perspective on how the arts have enriched her practice of medicine.
Virtual Reality is way more than just technology for guys to nerd-out to. There are all sorts of new horizons for experimentation. In healthcare, the promise of virtual reality for no-risk clinical training has already borne out for some institutions. But its potential for deepening empathy and understanding among patients, providers and family members is especially powerful. Embodied Labs captures this powerfully in “We Are Alfred,” an empathy-training exercise that uses virtual reality to teach medical students about the aging experience from the first-person patient perspective of an elderly man named Alfred experiencing audiovisual age-related changes. “Working in this medium can unleash your imagination," says one of the creators. Maybe it can also unleash kindness and compassion.
Finally, bringing a little of the humanities to you ourselves, try Poetry Daily – a free app that brings you a different poem each day. Read it while you’re stuck in traffic, in line at the supermarket, or just need a little boost for your soul.
And enjoy this short poem by Mary Oliver.
There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled.
Like, telling someone you love them
or giving your money away, all of it
Your heart is beating isn’t it?
You’re not in chains, are you?
There is nothing more pathetic than caution
when headlong might save a life,
even, possibly, your own.